NASCAR Week 4: It's Bristol Baby!!!; Bristol Motor Speedway Preview
Bristol Motor Speedway is a legendary track, and the drivers that have won here are legends as well. As noted in my previous article, Bristol Legends: Earnhardt, Waltrip, Yarborough, Wallace and the track itself, http://bleacherreport.com/articles/632833-bristol-legends-earnhardt-wallace-yarborough-waltrip-and-the-track-itself, since the track debuted in 1961, 19 of the 21 Cup Champions have won at Bristol.
Bristol Motor Speedway is always a wild card race—a lot can happen in the “Bull Ring”. A flat tire can put you five laps down, you can get caught up in a wreck that happens 15-20 positions ahead of you and mistakes on Pit Road can put you at a major disadvantage. At Bristol, like most short tracks, not only does driving ability give you a good finish, but the entire team plays a crucial part in the outcome of the race.
A few stats may help you with a pick for what driver may win this weekend at Bristol. Of the 100 all-time races at Bristol, 22 times the race has been won from the pole, 58 times from the top five and 80 times from the Top 10 starting positions. Look for drivers who start up front to stay up front, and drivers starting in the back to stay there.
With that said, there are still drivers that do well at Bristol Motor Speedway nearly every time they run at the track. These are the drivers that you need to have in your Fantasy NASCAR lineup this week.
The hands down favorite this weekend is Kyle Busch. His history at this track is unbelievable. Over the past 10 races at Bristol Motor Speedway, the younger Busch has an average finish of 5.1, this includes four wins, six top fives and nine top 10s. Kyle has also led at least one lap in nine of those 10 races. The one race Busch finished outside the top 10 was a 17th-place finish in 2008. That “poor” performance must have lit a fire under Busch. Since then, he has posted three wins, a runner-up finish and a ninth place finish in five races. Busch is starting in the 12th position but consider it an advantage for Kyle. The highest starting position in his four wins at Bristol was 15th. Kyle Busch should be contending for his fifth career win at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend.
Another Driver that should be contending for the Win this weekend is Carl Edwards. Posting an average finish of 9.0 in the past 10 races at Bristol, Edwards has two wins, three top fives and five top 10s in that span. Edwards is starting on the pole this weekend and the last person that won the race at Bristol from the pole…you guessed it: Carl Edwards. Look for “Concrete Carl” to be making an appearance at the front of the pack towards the end of the race this weekend.
Carl Edwards also has a teammate that could be fighting him up front this weekend, and that is Greg Biffle. Without a win at Bristol Motor Speedway, Biffle has still put up great stats at the track. His average finish of 11.1 is fourth among active drivers over the past 10 races, which includes four top fives and seven top 10s. One of the races that Biffle didn’t finish in the top 10 was a 39th-place finish due to a blown engine. Discounting that race, Biffle’s worst finish has been 19th. This could be the weekend that Biffle breaks through at Bristol. He is starting second.
A few drivers to stay away from this weekend are Juan Pablo Montoya and AJ Allmendinger.
Juan Pablo Montoya has not had good races at Bristol. With an average finish of 18.8 in eight career starts at Bristol, Juan has only managed to log two top 10s. This is not a track that bodes well for drivers starting near the back of the pack. With Juan Pablo’s starting position of 36th, I would look somewhere else for a good finish.
AJ Allmendinger sits towards the front of the points standings coming into Bristol, but you can count on this week being a setback to his Chase run. Allmendinger has not ran well at Bristol, and that’s a fact. With an average finish of 30.0 in seven career starts at the track, AJ Allmendinger has only posted two top 20 finishes in those starts and only finished on the lead lap twice. Starting in the 28th position, it looks like Allmendinger still needs some seasoning at Bristol Motor Speedway.
As always, look for some exciting racing at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend.
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